Life is full of headlines of all kinds. I’m not even talking about world and national news—I’m talking about all the headlines we experience in our individual lives each year.
What were your headlines in 2017?
What were your big personal headlines in 2017…the good and the not-so-good headlines? Here are a few of my personal headlines from 2017…
In January, I was in a hit-and-run accident. Miraculously, the driver turned himself in a couple hours later.
In April, Stephen and I put our house up for sale. After many showings (and many hours of clean-up required for each showing), we finally sold it for list price almost 8 months later…on Thanksgiving Day.
My Dad died June 24 at age 73 after three years of health decline. My family and I learned so much about the sad and rapidly debilitating effects of Lewy Body Dementia, especially in the last year of my Dad’s life. We miss him terribly.
Work at Wake Forest University and Triad Baptist Church was good but busy. Any time I thought I had everything under control, an unexpected challenge arose to test my work-life “juggling” skills.
Who or what is your lifeline?
Whatever your headlines, what was your lifeline? That is, how did you stay hopeful or build new hope as you lived through each headline?
Headlines, especially the hard and tiring headlines, test what we believe about life and about our control over life. I don’t know about you, but I am not ashamed to admit that I need a seriously powerful lifeline to keep me hopeful. I know…people find hope in a number of sources, but for me, no other lifeline provides me more and consistent hope to build on than Jesus Christ. The headlines change, but He doesn’t change. Just like Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He’s there for me just like Psalm 46:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Some of you feel the same way, and this post is a simple encouragement to you. Others of you don’t know Jesus or have serious questions or even doubts about Him or about God. Maybe this post encourages you to open your heart and mind to Jesus…to find for yourself whether or not you can trust Him to be your lifeline for all life’s headlines.
A lifeline like no other!
For me, the older I get, the more I realize I can’t do this life without Jesus. Yes, I have a terrific family. I have meaningful work and ministry. But, I am getting more and more honest with myself, and with others, about how much I rely on God’s guidance in my life, how much I lean on Him, and how much I count on His promises about this life and the life beyond this one.
I realized all this even more in 2017 as I talked to God about the hit-and-run accident, about the sale of our house and delay of our plans to build a new house, about my Dad’s decline and death, about the challenges I faced with work and ministry, and…about all the other big and little headlines that happened throughout the year. I talked to Him with more need and more belief, and I more clearly saw and felt Him respond more than any time before in my life.
Rest in 2018
Moving into 2018, I’m planning to keep talking with and watching for God’s response in my life. I’m focusing on Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
What if, in 2018, you and I take our weary, heavy-laden selves to Jesus a little more often, with a little more belief that He is, in fact, ready and able to serve as our lifeline for all of life’s headlines? What if we open our hearts and minds even more to receiving the rest that only He can give?
2017 was full of headlines. 2018 will be, too. I pray for you and for me that we find even better than before just how loving and capable a lifeline Jesus Christ is.
Thanks for reading, friends! May God bless you in amazing ways in 2018!
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Scripture references in this article are from the New Living Translation and linked to www.Biblegateway.com.